Anamaya Resort is located in the southern Nicoya Peninsula of Montezuma, Costa Rica. After arriving in San Jose I hopped on a puddle jumper to Tambor (30 minute flight). This is the most expensive but the most convenient. A shuttle/boat/bus combinations would take about 5 hours. After flying for 6 hours, I just wanted to start my vacation ASAP. From Tambor, Anamaya arranged for a taxi to pick me up. It is a 30 minute ride and runs $40 for up to 4 people. Even before I arrived at Anamaya, they had already helped me so much with planning my trip. I must have sent a hundred emails to Mandy with all sorts of questions (some not even related to my stay at Anamaya).
I stayed in the Gaia House dorm room, which is the cheapest option. I shared the dorm with four other girls (three slept on the first floor and I slept in one of the two lofted beds). If you have trouble sleeping with light, definitely ask for the loft because it’s wall to ceiling window with no curtains to block out the sun, which pierces through by 6 am. Even though five us of shared this space, it never felt crowded. The best part of the room is the shower (pictured below). It has a curtain for a wall which I always left open and showered in the open air because when in Costa Rica…
A saltwater infinity pool with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean, it doesn’t get much better than this. By 9am breakfast, I already spent a few hours swimming and soaking up the morning sun. It is way to hot mid-day, so I was in the pool early mornings and late afternoon.
I want this yoga deck in my house. I didn’t get a chance to take the yoga classes with Naheed Radfar because I was saving my strength for aerials and trying to not overdo it. So, I would wake up and do my sun salutes and stretch on my own every morning. If you are in the LA area, I would recommend taking class with her. Everyone in the yoga retreat raved about the classes and the ones I watched looked awesome.
Waking up at 5:30 am while on vacation sounds crazy, but the sunrise is worth it. Trust me. Plus, I was so exhausted by the end of each day, I was in bed by 10 PM.
I was amazed how quickly I got on the Anamaya food schedule:
7 AM: Fruit
9 AM: Breakfast
1 PM: Lunch
5 PM: Fruit
7 PM: Dinner
Everyday at meal time I would be pacing around the dining area waiting for the food to be brought out. Meals are buffet style except for dinner which is served. All the meals were amazing. Everyone kept saying how we need a recipe book for all these nutritious and well-balanced meals. It rotated between vegetarian, meat and seafood and the chefs were very accommodating to food allergies. The fruit was so ripe and the vegetables so fresh. I wish I could take these chefs home so they could cook all my meals.
Things to do
Montezuma was a great place to stay with loads of adventures nearby. In addition to doing daily aerial silks, there are morning and evening yoga classes, surf lessons, rock climbing, hiking, and waterfalls, ziplining, horseback riding, and even snorkeling. For nightlife in Montezuma, everyone goes to Chico’s. Sano Banano’s is a great restaurant in town that shows movies every night at 7:30. Luckily, PEX Festival in Montezuma was happening the weekend following the retreat. On Friday night, I went into town with Holliday and Alisha to go dancing. The best part was the fire dancing on the beach. The worst part was getting lost on the way home and not getting back until sunrise.
Sometimes, you just need to make yourself a priority and screw everything else. Going on this retreat was a treat for myself. Probably not the most fiscally responsible thing to do but I will worry about that another day. I have never been on vacation with so many women. I guess the memo hasn’t gotten out to men that yoga retreats are the place to find amazing, bad-ass, fit and adventurous women.
Some people came here for much needed R&R, others for self-healing, soul searching or to do something for themselves for a change. Right off the bat at our opening circle, people opened up and shared their intentions for the week and what brought them to Anamaya. I was moved at how honest and willing people were to share their stories, I couldn’t believe I was already crying and it’s only day one. Hearing my fellow retreat companion’s experiences and stories, it was clear that regardless of our age or background, we all had similar struggles, fears and desires.
As much as I loved my morning solitude for meditation and self-reflection, it was my interaction and conversations with the other women that made the lasting impression. I left with so much more than just a great tan. Anamaya has a transformative power from all the energy and light from the people that come here; it transcends spiritually, physically and mentally. Obviously, I didn’t expect to walk away after a week with some kind of miracle answer for the meaning of my life. However, I am leaving with a seed of peace and hope. I am confident when I get back to the ‘real world’ I will have the strength to make my dreams blossom and live the life I desire. And if that inner-strength shall waiver, I can call upon my fellow retreat mates to guide and support me. It was an honor and privilege to share this experience with you all.